DETROIT (FOX 2) - A woman unable to hear her neighbors knocking to warn her and her toddler were killed after a man set fire to an apartment building to get back at his girlfriend, prosecutors say.
Police say 31-year-old Star Milligan and her 2-year-old daughter Mylah were killed in a west side Detroit apartment fire on Brace Street Tuesday night. Dmarco Latham, 24, is accused of setting fire to the building.
"Allegedly you said ... 'I'll set this whole bitch on fire,'" prosecutors said in court Friday.
Police say the fire was started in a lower unit and spread to the upper unit, where Star, her 2-year-old, and her 8-year-old son Markell were inside. Her family says Star is deaf and did not hear a neighbor banging on the door trying to warn them.
Star's family says the smoke became too thick, and Star and Mylah fell to the floor. Her family says Star even wrapped the toddler in a blanket and protected her from the flames with her own body. Her son was able to make it out but needed treatment at the hospital. Star and Mylah were killed.
Star's family was left heartbroken, calling the mother a "beautiful soul," adding that Latham robbed their dreams and their futures. The family was even more devastated learning the apparent reason he set that fire.
Detroit fire says Latham's girlfriend had been living in the lower unit and because of some sort of argument, they say Latham came in, put shoes and clothes on top of her stove, then turned it on and left. His girlfriend was not home at the time.
Latham was charged with two counts of felony murder, three counts of first-degree arson and two counts of arson - preparation to burn. Court records show Latham has a criminal past with charges including cocaine possession and tampering with evidence but now faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was not given a bond.
Meanwhile, the family of Star Milligan is asking for prayers and donations, if possible, to help with funeral costs. They call the dedicated mother passionate about her family, friends, painting, and music. They say Star's life may be gone from this world, along with her little one, but they will both continue to live through the memories and the hearts of those they touched.